A forum regarding the Mindanao power crisis entitled The History and Realities of the Power Crisis in Mindanao and the Option for Renewable Energy was held at the Finister Auditorium last August 1.
The forum focused on discussing the background and the reality concerning the power shortage in Mindanao and also achievable alternative options to address it.
The main discussants of the event were Engr. Darwin Galang, a research specialist from the Department of Energy, and Engr. Arwin Ardon, vice-president of sales and marketing at EnergyMatic Solutions Inc.
Galang talked about the process of electric power production with regard to generating and distributing it to users. He also discussed the present power situation of Mindanao, how the demand for electricity outweighs the supply, and how the rotational brownouts were instigated in an attempt to address the problem.
He also placed emphasis on how Mindanao being dependent on hydroelectric power affects the power crisis that it faces.
“Hydropower is very vulnerable to climate change,” Galang said.
He also added that droughts due to climate change contribute in degrading Mindanao’s natural water resources which are the sources of its hydropower.
Galang also discussed the government’s plan to address the problem by rehabilitating old hydroelectric power plants.
Meanwhile, Ardon presented ‘prepayment’, an alternative way of paying electric bills. According to him, the prepayment program includes a prepaid meter that is “loaded” depending on the consumer’s power demand.
“It is prepaid, you are to manage it,” Ardon said.
He also added that the utility offers a balance inquiry option to help consumers monitor their energy consumption. Additionally, it also has an automatic voltage swell detector which immediately shuts itself down when it experiences voltage overload to prevent any damages on the consumer’s appliances.
Ardon explained that the system is popular in developed countries such as Japan and Singapore. He also said that the Philippines would benefit from it if the country choses to adapt the system.
The event was organized by the SAMAHAN Office through the Office of the Buklod Ambassador in partnership with the AIESEC Davao City Chapter.